Wednesday, October 6, 2010

EAG's Lies Continue

The EAG's failure to spread MESSA lies and anti-union propaganda throughout Michigan over the past several years must mean Kyle Olsen's anti-union pals in his home state are cutting off his money machine. Looks like he’s now taken his con artist game to bordering Great Lakes states where some financial backers haven’t figured out they’re being suckered yet.

Check out this story from Milwaukee Magazine. The EAG's latest target is the Wisconsin EA’s health care affiliate, WEA Trust. In Milwaukee, they're running radio adds, promise a TV ad (which will probably never be more than a web ad), and is sending the usual Op Eds around.

A spot or 2 on Fox News might impress some deep pockets of conservative think tanks in other states right now, but the word is spreading and people are starting to figure you out what the EAG and Kyle Olsen really stand for . . . . and it isn’t quality education.

Might want to consider updating your Linkedin account or pulling a resume together for a real job Kyle. Cons always get found out sooner or later.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Word Gets Out on EAG

As Kyle carpetbags his way across the state offering advice on how the locals should run their schools, more and more people are seeing the light. Comments on newspaper websites are much more common then they were just a few months ago, as are Op Eds opposing his interference. Now the blogesphere is getting involved.

Blogging for Michigan, based in Lansing has recently started watching Kyle, as has Dispatches from the Intelligentsia and Grand Rapids based Media Mouse. Have a look.

By the way, with Tuesday's elections, the EAG Scoreboard has gotten a bit longer. You'll remember it tracks Kyle's (lack of) success in making trouble around the state.

As usual, it appears the locals are taking care of things without listening to EAG. The question is, how much longer will Kyle's secret financiers keep paying his salary with this kind of record?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stop the Presses!

EAG Targets Someone Other Than the MEA!

Now it just may be that he's found some readily available material for his email list, but given that we've pointed out endlessly that Kyle is paid to attack the MEA and MESSA, we've gotta react when he actually finds someone else worth attacking.

In an email today, Kyle was flabbergasted to learn in a DTF newsletter that if a teacher doesn't pay their union dues, they don't get off scott free. Of course, that's the whole point to the Right to Work (Freeload) ballot proposal that Kyle is on record as supporting.

But now that he's finally taken an easy shot at another union, let's have a look at the tote board:

The number of times these organizations are mentioned on the EAG website:

MEA 319

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Attention all For-Profit Insurance Salespersons . . . . Kyle Olson Wants to Line Your Pockets With Millions of Tax-Payer Dollars

So you’d better join your colleagues and get your checkbooks out. Write a big one to Kyle for all the help he’s giving you.

Lately, Kyle’s mantra is “dump MESSA.” He writes it almost every chance he gets. He then suggests school districts should buy their employee health insurance from competitors who are mostly for-profit, and mostly provide inferior plans. MESSA is a not-for-profit insurance company and it charges no sales commissions.

At the standard 5% sales commission charged by these non-MESSA competitors, those insurance agents stand to gain over $50 million in sales commissions if Kyle’s mantra is fulfilled statewide. Kyle is their very own, “one-man economic stimulus plan.” Maybe this is why Kyle Olson insists on not disclosing his list of financial donors.

Kyle Must Have Forgotten to Read His Own Reform Agenda

In it, he calls for the disclosure of “information about any lobbying/political advocacy organization the district supports with its funds, including the name of those organizations, the amount of dues paid to each, and the legislative agenda that each lobbying organization is supporting or opposing.”

He also calls for disclosing “historical budgets and current budget” and “the district checkbook register.”

Kyle keeps inserting himself as the dauntless defender of quality and reform in our public schools. He invites himself to towns where, most often, nobody requested his presence, only to spew the same tired opinions that he left behind at the last place. “Beat the union, dump MESSA, and replace your non-instructional jobs with crummier ones” is what he offers up everywhere he goes.

Shouldn’t Kyle hold himself accountable to the same standard he touts? A person of ethics and good morale nature would. Why shouldn’t Kyle want to make the same obligation to the taxpayers of these communities relative to transparency in disclosing who is financially backing his agenda for public schools?

At you can read a whole lot of speculation on this question. A growing number of people in this state are beginning to agree with us. It is only Kyle’s disclosure of donors, amounts and expenditures that will prove us wrong.

Friday, April 24, 2009

An Utter Disregard for the Truth

The Education Action Guy, Kyle Olson, is a political operative not a policy wonk. You can tell this because he has a track record that demonstrates an indifference for facts. Winning's the thing.

For example, in an email the other day he railed against a 6.1% increase in MESSA insurance rates. Trouble is, today MESSA announced the increase will be 5.2% not 6.1%. Kyle's source? Disgruntled ex-MESSA  director Frank Webster. Frank is quoted: “The 6.1 percent MESSA increase . . . follows a 4.5 percent increase last year.”  Wrong. Last year's increase was 3.3. Maybe it's this kind of work what got Frank fired.

A quick Google search shows that nationwide "premiums for employer-based health insurance rose by 5.0 percent in 2008. In 2007, small employers saw their premiums, on average, increase 5.5 percent." MESSA rates were below these national averages both years. I'm sure Kyle has heard of Google, but doesn't look for these facts because he doesn't care.

Perhaps more important than what Kyle says is what he doesn't say. MESSA rates go up: Kyle complains.

But what about other provider's rates? How come Kyle doesn't complain about them? How much did they go up, Kyle?

MESSA provides health insurance for a little less that half the state's school employees. Why never word about the health insurance companies covering them?

How come Kyle never criticizes or second guesses any health care provider choice but MESSA? He bills himself as a school reform group. But his only targets are MESSA and the MEA. Never anyone else. Ever.

In a slip a few weeks ago, Kyle admitted: "we would like very much to convince every school board to dump MESSA..." He's a political operative charged with opposing the MEA and MESSA on all fronts: he's neither a group nor about school reform.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Advice for Kyle

I just had a great idea. Kyle can't point to any successes in his quest to convince school districts to dump MESSA or to keep unpopular school board members, and as a  consequence, he's having trouble convincing his funders to give him more money.

[click to download]

A good example of how his current plan is backfiring can be seen in Leslie. Kyle bought a full page ad for four weeks and wrote his usual villainizing Op Ed in the local paper, which only managed to generate a blizzard of outraged responses. Have a look at the Op Ed's in the last issue of the Leslie Weekly Guardian. It's a textbook example of what to do when Kyle comes to town.

So here's my suggestion: read the paper, find a district that's about to privatize. Then write an Op Ed in the local newspaper recommending privatization. Then if it happens, claim victory.

He's already done something like this. He claimed he was the reason the legislature refused to move the teacher early retirement bill. Not that a little detail like the fact that no one in Lansing has ever heard of him got in his way.

So give it a try Kyle. With your pals at the Mackinac Center doing the heavy lifting, I'm sure you'll get no complaints from them if you take credit for all the people they've put out of work.